Friday, May 25, 2012
Since moving to our new home almost 2 years ago I have wanted to erect a small altar in my kitchen. Besides the obvious reason of honouring the seasons and deity, I wanted this to be a reminder of what my time in the "center of our home" means to me each moment I am there. And the thing is I'm there most of the time. I make about 5 meals a day in there. Sure at times it's as simple as cutting cheese and assembling a plate of crackers, or boiling water for tea, but each of those actions is a work of spirit for me. Feeding myself and my family is a work of devotion, sometimes toil, sometimes pleasure. I hear the hum of the fridge motor, feel steam rising from soup, and move through ritual after ritual of cutting, kneading, measuring and stirring.
Looking to my little white altar and seeing what sits there reminds me of this great work. Humble though it is. I honour the food that comes into my doors, from local farms or from far away. I honour the spirit of the Goddess Hestia and her vigil over hearth and home. I chose an image of her where she is offering her flame since it mirrors how I feel when I bring offerings for us to eat. Along side the image is my arbutus wooden knife. I purchased it many moons ago. Carved from a fallen branch I consider it a symbol of the craft work I do in preparing our meals. And a simple homemade beeswax candle to light when the mood strikes. I find that the action of lighting the candle is helpful in making my time in the kitchen more meditative.
If you have a kitchen altar I'd love to see it. Leave a link in the comments for all to find.